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In this tutorial, we will cover how to convert a building scene from Revit to 3ds Max for rendering in MAXtoA. You will need to use the Scene Converter in 3ds Max to convert the materials into 3ds Max native Physical shaders, the Daylight/Exposure into a Sun Positioner and Physical Sky, and the Camera into a Physical Camera. 3ds Max Photometric lights are supported in MAXtoA and therefore will not need to be converted. This process will save us time and energy from having to convert them individually for use with MAXtoA. Once converted, the scene will be set to use the ART renderer by default. Therefore, you will need to choose Arnold from the Render Setup. The house model ships with Revit and is free to use and share as a sample model owned by Autodesk.

If you are a Revit user, you can import the Revit file from within the Revit install. Otherwise, similar Revit project files can be freely downloaded here. The final 3ds Max scene can be downloaded here.
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Information about how to export a scene from Revit to 3ds Max can be found here.

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  • Open the Scene Converter window - Rendering -> Scene ConverterThe Scene Converter should default to Convert to ART Compatible Features using the ART.ms preset script. We will use this script as MAXtoA supports the Physical cameras and shaders provided by this script.
  • Select Convert Scene. The script will convert the Autodesk Materials into Physical shaders, the Daylight/Exposure into a Sun Positioner and Physical Sky, and the cameras into Physical Cameras. The Max Photometric lights are now supported in Arnold and so will not need to be changed.

     


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Besides the Sun Positioner, 3ds Max will import Photometric Lights (.IES) from Revit. The 3ds Max Revit importer supports parallel processing since 3ds Max 2019.3 which speeds up the import process a lot. With regards to materials it’s important to use the 3ds Max Scene Converter otherwise the imported Autodesk materials won’t render with Arnold and you do get a lot of warnings.

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  • If you notice any noise in the shadows, try increasing the number of Samples (Quality) for the IBL under Environment & Background in the Arnold Renderer tab of the Render Setup window.
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Light sample noise is more visible in the shadows when using the default Samples (Quality) of 1. Increasing this value to 3 or 4 will reduce this type of noise. Bear in mind that render times will increase when increasing this value.

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Tip

You can modify the Preset in the Render Setup window to save your Arnold render settings.

Denoising

OptiX GPU denoiser in ActiveShade

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AOVs (Arbitrary Output Variables) provide a way to render any arbitrary shading network component into different images. For example, an artist might find it convenient to separate direct and indirect lighting contributions and later recombine them during compositing. Arnold provides built-in AOVs for outputting depth, position, and motion vectors.

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RGBA_denoise AOV visible in ActiveShade window. RGBA AOV with denoise enabled in AOVs window.

Denoising

There are two denoising options available for rendering with Arnold:

OptiX denoiser 

If you want to utilize the OptiX denoiser you must first create an imager

Arnold Denoiser

The Arnold Denoiser can be run from a dedicated UI, exposed in the Denoiser tab (suitable for single images or completes sequences or as an imager. It favors quality over speed and is, therefore, more suitable for high-quality final frame denoising and animation sequences. To use the Arnold denoiser, you’ll need to render images out first via the Arnold EXR driver with variance AOVs enabled. It is also available as a stand-alone program (noice.exe). The workflow is as follows:

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  • Choose whether you want to denoise a single frame or a sequence and then select the Denoise button.

 


This will start the denoising process based on the settings that you have chosen. The denoised images are saved in the output directory.

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More information about removing noise can be found here.

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A tutorial on denoising a room interior can be found here.


That's it. You have reached the end of the tutorial. Well done! We encourage you to spend some more time with the MAXtoA user guide where you can find other tutorials such as this.